For those of you readers who consider themselves cord-cutters, or have switched from cable or satellite TV to an antenna or streaming device, you may have heard the news a couple weeks back about some changes happening in the world of broadcast TV.
One of those changes involved E.W. Scripps recent buyout of Ion, and that meant some of their subchannels ceasing operation, namely Qubo, Ion Life, and a shopping channel.
Qubo started out as a programming block on Saturday mornings on NBC, as the successor to Discovery Kids on NBC when it ended its run. I saw it periodically when my schedule allowed it since I was in college at the time, and it made for great background noise while I was doing other things.
Especially Jane and the Dragon, and also Jacob Two-Two.
It was also like a brief vacation from what I had going on in my life at the time, too. I had fallen behind the schedule I had mapped out for myself in terms of school, no thanks to the job from hell I had just five months earlier, so I was still at the community college, working on transferring to a four-year university.
Network TV fell off the radar since my family got the bug in their head that it was cable or bust, and once they got it, network TV was dead to them, and they weren’t interested in hearing anything about it.
Cool. Saves more fun for me, haha.
When I got my TV and antenna, I didn’t know that Qubo had become its’ own subchannel with the Ion main channel. I’d only remembered it from the Saturday programming block, and after I’d done the first channel scan and flipped through what I was able to get with the antenna, I stopped at Qubo.
I looked at the TV Guide, and remembered several of the shows they aired. Adventures from the Book of Virtues was on PBS for like two minutes back in the 90s, and I only vaguely remembered it.
I saw Babar was in their lineup, along with The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Madeline, Pippi Longstocking, Inspector Gadget, Paddington Bear, and I remembered seeing Franklin in passing on Nick Jr. back in middle school once in a blue moon.
When nothing else was on, or when I grew bored with the other channels I’d have the TV on as background noise for what’s become my day job, Qubo was it. I felt like yeah, this is totally something I’m gonna have my kids watch when they come along.
Until I heard the news that there was a buyout of Ion in the works, and saw that the buyout meant some channels ending their run. I’d noticed that a lot of the shows that were once in the lineup had left, leaving only Inspector Gadget and a few others.
Qubo’s last day was February 28th, 2021. The screenshot above came when they left the airwaves during an episode of Inspector Gadget. It just cut out, the screen went black, with only the TV logo in the bottom right-hand corner, and that was that.
The end of an era, indeed.
It’s now a programming block once again, this time on Ion, but it’s all Xploration Station stuff. In its’ former home as a subchannel is Court TV. Taking the place of Ion Life is Laff, and the shopping channel is Court TV Mystery, all of which we already had in our market before the buyout and subchannel shutdown.
The end of Qubo leaves PBS Kids, and Smile, the latter of which isn’t in our market. Lucky for us, a lot of the shows that were once on Qubo can be found on Roku, so if I ever get the hankering for some Madeline as background noise for my day job, all I gotta do is switch the input to the Roku hookup option, find it, and hit the Play button.
Over to you, readers. Have you ever seen Qubo, whether it was in its’ incarnation as a Saturday programming block or as a subchannel? Which shows do you remember from its’ lineup from before Qubo acquired them? Drop it below, and let’s talk!